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RE: basking with minimal heat???

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Posted by: PHLdyPayne at Tue Mar 22 18:34:26 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by PHLdyPayne ]  
   

With bearded dragons you want a basking area that at least provides temperatures ranging from 95-115F. Higher surface temperatures are alright to have as well, providing the basking spot is large, wide and angled to allow the dragon to choose what temperature it wants to bask on. The stacks Robyn suggests are good..but you can get similar results with a wide sloping basking area, or several basking areas.

Air temps in the hot end should be around 85-90F. The cool end air temperatures are fine to be in the mid 70's at night and mid to low 80's during the day, so your room temperatures are good to have as the cool end temps, providing the night time drops are not below 65F consistently (cooler short term night drops are fine).

The wattage of bulb you need will depend on how large your cage is and how high it is mounted from the basking area. If the bulb is internal (ie mounting inside the cage) you don't need as much wattage than if the light/heat source is mounted outside of the cage.

As you said your cage is wooden, I assume its something custom made. How much ventilation do you have? Is the top solid wood or partially/all screen? If the top is open or screened, you will loose most of your heat that way...Or if the lights are mounted outside...more heat will be lost. So you are likely going to need a higher wattage bulb than you would if you didn't have a screen top or mount the bulb outside.

You can get regular incandescent bulbs in anything between 25-150 watts which fit standard incandescent light sockets. (ie standard household light sockets).

You can setup the heat light using a dimmer switch or even a thermostat (proportionate type, that reduces power instead of an on/off one which turns off the heat source if it goes over a set temp. For dragons you don't want the lights going off and on all day) Though personally I don't think you really need to use a dimmer switch with a bearded dragon. Best to just use a fixed wattage. If temps in the house are hotter than 80F, then you can turn off the lights in the dragon's cage, or just use a lower wattage bulb in the summer.

I recommend you experiment with a few bulb wattages before you get your dragon till you find one that gets temperatures in the range indicated above. Aiming for 100F basking spot gives you more play to have different heights available on the basking area the dragon can chose from...Large wide pieces of driftwood or bricks/rocks stacked securely directly on the floor of the cage are good choices too. You want piles of rocks/wood etc to be secure and impossible to dig under to avoid injury to your dragon. If you are using sand as a substrate, pile it around the stones/rocks etc, don't place it ontop of the sand.
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PHLdyPayne

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>> Next Message:  RE: basking with minimal heat??? - geckoejon, Wed Mar 23 07:53:47 2011

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